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Country of Nicaragua Flag

Capital: Managua

Population: 6,545,502

Brief History of Nicaragua:

Nicaragua was originally inhabited by Native American tribes. The name Nicaragua comes from Chief Nicarao who was the leader of a tribe that lived near Lake Nicaragua when the first Europeans arrived.

The first European to visit Nicaragua was Christopher Columbus in 1502. In 1524 the first permanent settlements were established by Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba. He founded the city of Granada on Lake Nicaragua and Leon near Lake Managua.

Nicaragua remained a Spanish colony until 1838. For a period of time, the British occupied a portion of the country, but slowly gave control to the local peoples.

In 1978 Nicaragua became a violent country torn with civil war. Much of the 1980s were marked with civil war and rebellion against a Marxist government that had come into power.

Country of Nicaragua Map

The Geography of Nicaragua

Total Size: 129,494 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than the state of New York

Geographical Coordinates: 13 00 N, 85 00 W

World Region or Continent: Central America

General Terrain: extensive Atlantic coastal plains rising to central interior mountains; narrow Pacific coastal plain interrupted by volcanoes

Geographical Low Point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Mogoton 2,438 m

Climate: tropical in lowlands, cooler in highlands

Major cities: MANAGUA (capital) 934,000 (2009), Leon

The People of Nicaragua

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Spanish 97.5% (official), Miskito 1.7%, other 0.8% (1995 census)

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Nationality: Nicaraguan(s)

Religions: Roman Catholic 72.9%, Evangelical 15.1%, Moravian 1.5%, Episcopal 0.1%, other 1.9%, none 8.5% (1995 census)

National Symbol: turquoise-browed motmot (bird)

National Anthem or Song: Salve a ti, Nicaragua (Hail to Thee, Nicaragua)

Economy of Nicaragua

Major Industries: food processing, chemicals, machinery and metal products, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining and distribution, beverages, footwear, wood

Agricultural Products: coffee, bananas, sugarcane, cotton, rice, corn, tobacco, sesame, soya, beans; beef, veal, pork, poultry, dairy products; shrimp, lobsters

Natural Resources: gold, silver, copper, tungsten, lead, zinc, timber, fish

Major Exports: coffee, beef, shrimp and lobster, tobacco, sugar, gold, peanuts

Major Imports: consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, petroleum products

Currency: gold cordoba (NIO)

National GDP: $18,880,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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